For the second time, chairman of the South East Governor’s Forum, Dave Umahi yesterday boycotted a bi-partisan regional meeting held in Enugu.
Apart from Umahi, who is also the governor of Ebonyi State, governors of Imo, Abia and Anambra states failed to attend the meeting, which might have been conveyed to seek ways of actualising the presidency of Igbo extraction in 2023.
Although the conveners refused to address journalists apparently due to the low turnout of expected participants, sources said those who were in attendance could not reach a consensus.
Southeast governors had earlier in the year boycotted a similar meeting which was held at Igbere, Aba State.
The governors rather decided to hold a virtual meeting during which they disassociated themselves from the bi-partisan meeting.
According to the notice of the earlier meeting held at Umuahia, National Assembly principal officers from the region led by the Senate chief whip, Orji Uzor Kalu; former deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu and the five governors of the region were listed as conveners.
The conveners had said that the gathering was a “bipartisan meeting with members of All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), adding that other political parties were expected to attend.”
But, chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum, Umahi, swiftly told journalists that the governors were not involved in the planning of the meeting.
Umahi, who briefed the media after a virtual meeting with the governors, said “the organisers used the names of the governors as conveners without their permission.
“Today 5th January, 2021, the South East governors had their meeting and all the governors were in attendance and the meeting resolved as follows:
“There was a bi-partisan meeting called today and the initiator went ahead to use the names of governors without consulting them as part of the conveners of such a meeting.
“The governors of South East frown at such an attitude and would want to disassociate themselves from such a meeting”, he said.
Gov Umahi, who disclosed that all the five regional governors attended the virtual governors forum’s meeting which held at the same time as the bi-partisan meeting explained why the governors boycotted the Igbere meeting.
“If there should be such a meeting which they feel is very necessary, the governors must be seen to be informed and be part and parcel of calling such a meeting. They strongly feel that Ohanaeze is in position to speak on such issues.